Published on June 26, 2021
In my article, Stretch(pants) Your Way to Fat(ter), I write about one of the realities that have sprung up over the decades as Americans have continued to get fatter — the false sense of reality one gets from stretch fabric – you know, yoga pants, leggings, drawstring waists and the like. They allow you to think that nothing has changed. You can easily gain weight while still wearing the same pants.
Here’s another false reality reality.
The Oxford English Dictionary describes “vanity sizing” as ‘the practice of assigning smaller sizes to articles of manufactured clothing than is really the case, in order to encourage sales.’”
The Lori Boxer definition of “vanity sizing” is “The psychological need that millions of people have — mostly women — to keep bullshitting themselves.”
As Americans have grown physically larger, brands shifted their metrics to make shoppers feel skinnier — so much so that a women’s size 12 in 1958 is now a size 6.
A size 8 dress today is nearly the equivalent of a size 16 dress in 1958.
And a size 8 dress of 1958 doesn’t even have a modern-day equivalent—the waist and bust measurements of an 8 in that era come in smaller than today’s size 00.
With men and fashion, the bottom line is: Does it fit and look good? They’re less concerned with the number on the tag.
But women, on the other hand . . . what woman would want to buy a size 12 or 14 if her brain is used to feeling like an 8 or a 10?
So, again, along came sizing distortion.
And manufacturers were successful beyond their dreams, marking clothes with smaller sizes to appeal to customers and sales skyrocketed.
It also, however, gave and still gives folks a false sense of reality as to their size.
The problem with the advent of this distorted sizing over the last many decades is that, in my opinion, it has supported a sense of laziness about healthy living. Altered numbers gave everyone, and still does, a license to get collectively bigger and more indulgent rather than a numeric incentive to gauge and maintain fitness.
Regardless of how vanity sizing makes you feel, think, eat, or not eat, perhaps it’s time to pull the wool away from your eyes. Make no mistake: vanity sizing is crafty tool to dupe you.
It’s false flattery.
And a false sense of reality.
It’s like being 45 years old and telling folks you’re 29!